Charlie Chaplin is arguably one of the most important figures in the history of cinema. Famous for the creation of the moustachioed Little Tramp, he produced over eighty films and was the highest paid performer of his time. Chaplin became, by his own conviction, more famous than Jesus Christ.
Between 1916 and 1917, Chaplin signed a record-breaking $670,000 deal with Mutual films to produce twelve two-reels films running at approximately 25 minutes a piece. Chaplin was by now in his mid-twenties and at the height of his creative powers, having previously worked extensively with the Keystone and Essanay film companies. He later recalled that his year with Mutual was the happiest professional period of his career.
Steven Spielberg’s Jaws has the distinction of being one of the most ubiquitous films in terms of domestic release, with literally dozens of VHS (and latterly DVD) releases over the past twenty-five years. Jaws also holds a place in history as the first film to be pressed on the Laserdisc format in 1978. It is perhaps surprising that it has taken such a long time for this commercially popular film to arrive on the Blu-ray format. Has it been worth the wait?
Jaws broke all box office records when it premiered in the Summer of 1975. It became the defining Summer blockbuster and propelled twenty-five year old Steven Spielberg to the forefront of Hollywood’s attention. Today it is arguably one of the most important movies in history, yet it is hard to believe that there is also a new generation who have not seen Jaws. For many the 2012 theatrical re-release will be an introduction to a Spielberg classic, whilst also providing a unique opportunity for all to experience Jaws as originally intended, on the big screen.
As motion pictures became popular in the early 20th Century, so followed the phrase, “A picture paints a thousand words”. It is uncertain exactly where that famous adage originated, though some scholars cite a Japanese proverb as the inspiration. What is known, however, is that it was propagated in America, at a time when Hollywood became the locus of the motion picture industry. Cinema is arguably the greatest innovation in entertainment since the invention of theatre, and at less than 150 years old, it is the subject of Marc Cousins’ ambitious documentary.
Theatre Manager, Writer, Film Photographer & Printer, Reviewer, Reader. Secular biped mammal with own views. © Samuel Payne 2016